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The Black Forest’s Animal Stars, Tooth Savers, and a New Center for Research in Africa

The new issue of the university newspaper uni’leben is out

Freiburg, Dec 12, 2017

Animal Stars in the Black Forest

Woodpeckers are very hip at the moment, wood grouse make promises they can’t keep, wolves are both loved and feared, and deer are everyone’s favorite. This is what a team of researchers have discovered in their study concerning what associations people who are visiting and living in the northern part of the Black Forest have of certain wild animals. Their research, which traces a kind of cultural history of 13 animal species, is one of the first studies of its kind in the German-speaking world. Their findings can be useful for tourism, public relations, and politics in the Black Forest – for example, when using certain animals as a symbol.
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Support for Loose Teeth

When a tooth starts to get wobbly, it’s usually not long before the dentist has to pull it out. This is often due to periodontitis, or inflammation of the gums – a bacterial infection that can lead to the loss of teeth. "It attacks the jaw bone and tooth support," says Dr. Susanne Proksch, who is an external lecturer at the Clinic of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology at the University Medical Center Freiburg. Proksch is currently working on a project with the goal of using stem cells to restore damaged bone tissue in the future, thereby creating more support for loose teeth. The stem cells used to delay the loss of teeth have to live in the mouth for as long as possible – they need to feel “at home,” says Proksch. For this reason, her research also focuses on what is beneficial for these stem cells.
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Freiburg and Accra on the Same Course

Freiburg and Accra, the capital of Ghana, are growing closer in terms of research. The University of Freiburg will be coordinating a new international research center for the humanities and social sciences at the University of Ghana. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is providing funding to researchers from Freiburg and several partner organizations to establish the first Merian International Centre for Advanced Studies (MICAS) in Africa. By funding this project with €18 million for the next 12 years, the Ministry hopes to promote research collaborations between Germany and countries of the Global South.
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Rimma Gerenstein
Editor of uni’leben
University of Freiburg
Phone: +49 (0)761 / 203 - 8812